Written By Sam Ekstrom (ZoneCoverage.com)
Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks will miss the 2018 football season with a lower leg injury, according to head coach P.J. Fleck, who addressed reporters Tuesday morning to kick off spring practices.
The senior will use his redshirt and return for the 2019 campaign.
“Obviously that is not the news that everyone wants to hear, not what I want to hear,” said Fleck, as reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “But I’ll tell you what, he’s been incredibly positive about it. He sees it as kind of a blessing in his own eyes in how he can continue to mature and how he can get better and obviously be back in 2019.”
Brooks missed half the 2017 season with various injuries and only carried for 369 yards, but his three years of production put him over 2,000 total scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns — 17 of them on the ground.
Brooks and fellow senior Rodney Smith would have combined to make a tough duo of runners for the Gophers in 2018. Now, they’ll have to look elsewhere for a backup running back.
Jonathan Femi-Cole is a junior who rushed for 42 yards a season ago and may be a prime candidate. Meanwhile, Dominik London, Nolan Edmonds, Bryce Williams, Mike Delich and Ibrahim Mohamed are all either redshirt or true freshmen who could vie for a spot.